Starting Jan. 1, mail from ZIP codes 84119, 84120 and 84128 will have West Valley City in its postmark.
But West Valley City's request to extend that "preferred city" designation to ZIP code 84118 was soundly rejected in a popular vote conducted by the U.S. Postal Service. Most of that ZIP code's residents live in Kearns, West Valley City's neighbor in the unincorporated county, and they voted 2,683 to 170 to keep 84118's preferred city status as Salt Lake City inaccurate politically, but in use since 1963.
The Salt Lake County Council, which serves as the de facto city government for Kearns and other unincorporated townships, formally opposed the change for 84118.
More than just civic pride was at stake in the designations.
"In our digital age, postal databases matter more than ever for getting e-commerce right," West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder said Wednesday, noting that the name change will be reflected in online retail databases, mobile programs and other applications that use ZIP code data.
"This change will benefit West Valley City residents by ensuring that online sales tax, if collected, is distributed to the correct city," he said. "The change will improve the city's economic development efforts and ensure accurate voter representation if a vote-by-mail system is implemented in the future."
Part of the reason Kearns residents and county officials opposed the change involved concerns that changing 84118's preferred-name status could complicate the ability to continue getting federal grants and other assistance influenced by ZIP-code data that has always said Salt Lake City.
"I'm pleased to hear about the outcome of the vote because it reflects the feedback I received from Kearns residents," said County Mayor Ben McAdams. "The residents came together and stood up for what they want for their community."
Kearns Community Council President Paula Larsen was ecstatic about maintaining the status quo in 84118.
"Our boundries do not go into West Valley City, we are a township under Salt Lake County and want to keep our own identity as Kearns," she said. "Kearns grew from a military base know as 'Camp Kearns' and we are very proud of that heritage. We do not want to live in, or have our name changed to, West Valley City."
Winder said most residents should not notice any difference in mail delivery from changing the preferred city designation in the other three ZIP codes.
ZIP code vote
Residents of three ZIP codes voted to change their "preferred city" designation to West Valley City in a recent U.S. Postal Service survey, but people living in a fourth ZIP code that is largely in Kearns said no.
84118 • 170 for, 2,683 against
84119 • 1,374 for, 688 against
84120 • 1,463 for, 433 against
84128 • 857 for, 221 against
Source: U.S. Postal Service